Saturday, October 6, 2007

Meandering Through A Day, Becoming a Wise Woman -- studying with Susun Weed -- and Henry, my "Familiar..."




Henry ~ My Familiar...


First of all let's get this straight, this business about what a familiar is, because in the days and weeks to come I will be writing about animals as "familiars," "totems," "power animals," and more. I am a woman who lives alone (meaning no other human companionship) but whose life is enriched by the many animals I live with (10 birds, 5 beta fish, 3 dogs, and whoever knows who will come next!), and the very many wildlings I feed outside. My world is a world of animals, gardens, and the natural world in all her splendor. And more and more my animals are coming into my writing and fiber art. I have a new totem animal, the snake. We shall discuss that in the next entry...

The best example of a "familiar" that is familiar to most of us, through legend and stories, are the witch's black cats. They are in all the fairy tales and considered evil, while this couldn't be further from the truth. They are companions, guardian angels, one whose spirit is so in sync with ours that there is a special communion, an understanding between us, a relationship that is separate and unique from any and all other in my life.

Online, I found a few definitions that seemed as though they might help one understand better...


*
Of established friendship; intimate: on familiar terms.
* Familial.
* An attendant spirit, often taking animal form.


You may have, as I do, many animals and love them all dearly, and in fact have very close relationships with them, but likely, if you are attuned to this deep connection, you will find one type of animal that will be a teacher, a friend, a guide, a companion with whom no words need be spoken, you simply know one another, you share a bond. It is extremely powerful. This is your familiar.

I handraised Henry and his two clutchmates in autumn 1998. He came a fat, featherless, wee, awkward little bird. He was the only male so he was bigger which made him all the clumsier. I fell in love on sight and bought him for myself. The other two I sold to lovely women, the proceeds from which helped support my non-profit shelter for disabled and unwanted parrots and other domestic birds. From a tiny bird on, Henry and I had a bond that simply has no words. It's taken me a decade to understand who he is to me. Like Merlin's Archimedes the Owl, Henry is my constant companion, spends a good part of each day on my person, and has taught me many lessons I could not have otherwise learned.

Now, I love my other five parrots, the finches and doves, am delighted by the beautiful beta fish and the dogs, well, they are just pure love. I've always said that a dog is the only unconditional love we will ever know. And it is true. And my life would not be complete without them. But Henry is most definitely my familiar, which is why you hear so much about him in my writings. A good bit of the time he's on my shoulder or bobbing up and down on my arm while I write.

So Henry helped me make the latte and sat on my shoulder having a wee nip of foam and we conversed and kissed and then he flew back over to Solomon's cage (Solomon is a Blue Crown Conure, Henry was raised with Sol and they are best friends. Henry spends a lot of time on Sol's cage communing with him.)

It was a quiet day and after all the animals were settled I took my camera outside and just meandered around a bit with no plans, nothing that I was searching for especially, but I came upon a few things that struck me profoundly. Simple things. Pieces of this earthy paradise we inhabit, so I took a few pictures. My garden photos didn't turn out well and I'll have to try again, but I was able to photograph a few things that I adore...

First of all, I am a morning glory addict. I plant them by the hundreds every year. This lovely 'Grandfather Ott's' morning glory was blooming right outside my front door...






I took lots of pictures of it and simply stared and stared. I think morning glories are one of the most magical flowers in the world. Then around the corner at the edge of the garden, was the most beautiful pale blue with a purple star in the center. I call this picture, "Lit From Within," because surely it is...





As I looked deeper into the thick overgrown fall garden, I spotted one of my favorite friends outside. She is an Argiope Spider, making her intricate "zipper web," (I always call them that because they always look like there's a zipper straight down the middle of the web.). These yellow and black spiders are large and simply beautiful. I had a terrible time photographing her, because she was in thick flowing vines and I took lots of pictures from odd angles trying to get close to her without frightening her. I have deep respect and admiration for our spider friends. Here she is...




Isn't she beautiful?



Further back in the garden one of my favorite flowers was in bloom. I am wild about hibiscus of all sorts, and love the tropicals, but they won't winter over here. I will bring my big yellow tree hibiscus in to winter over, but now I only plant Hibiscus Syriacus which are perennial here. This is a pink one and lovelier than even this picture can show, but I had to try...






Further on as I rounded a corner I saw a touching sight indeed. One of my beautiful moonflowers which had bloomed in all her glory, perfuming the air around her with her night-time fragrance, was passing. One night, one glorious night, and then the end. Here she is in her final hours...




A flower spent is a gift too, for she reminds
us of the endless cycles of life and nature,
of which we are all a part...



Coming back around the back door, on to my patio on my way in, my gorgeous mandevilla caught my eye. It is trellised and nearly 7 feet tall. I don't know how in the world I will bring it in or where, but it will come in and winter over. It's too beautiful to let die. I will tell you right now that over the cooler months the inside of my little cottage looks like a jungle. Plants, animals, branches, pinecones and more, animals all around, and a woman with a parrot on her shoulder writing amidst it all. Just look at these lovely flowers of the mandevilla...







As I walked back in the house I laughed out loud because there was little Sampson, in his favorite spot on the arm of my fiber chair, looking at me like, "Isn't it about time you sat down here and got to work???" And I told him, "Just a minute buddy boy, just a minute..."





I went and got Henry and made notes for this piece, and uploaded the photos from the camera, and then I gave Henry a kiss...





... and we whispered some secrets to one another, and finally I settled in to the daily work of a fiber woman, a teddy bear of a dog snuggled in next to me, and Henry went back to talk things over with Sol, and the rest of the animals were quiet and at peace, a peace that reverberated through the cottage and into my heart.

And I had a wonderful talk on the phone with my teacher, Susun Weed, whose work I have admired for decades, and I am studying with her via correspondence and phone, and we had a wonderful talk. I am taking the Wise Woman course and it may take a few years to finish. I am a healer, and to have Susun as a teacher to take me further into my Wise Woman journey is one of the great blessings of my life. She also has a wonderful forum online at: Susun Weed's Wise Woman Forum. It is an amazing resource for all kinds of natural healing and living an earth-based life.

This is my life. I am deeply blessed. There is not a day I don't realize this and give thanks and praise. Good times, bad times, hard times, sad times, I am still blessed with these wonderful companions, and the natural world around me, and my writing and my work. What more do I really need? Certainly, not much...

Warm Regards and Deepest of Blessings to one and all,
and, Touch The Earth, and it will touch you...

Maitri


2 comments:

Noreen Crone-Findlay said...

A perfect day, indeed, Maitri! and may you have hundreds and thousands more days of glorious, delicious, precious connection and contemplation!
hugs,
Noreen

Maitri Libellule said...

Thank you so much Noreenie. You more than anyone know what a magical time this is for me, so it means so much that you took time to not only visit and read but leave a comment. And your Hankering For Yarn blog (Listed in my links section...) is my favorite EVER blog! I'm off to read it now!

Hugs and love,

Maitri

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